Can You Spare a Dime?

I’m posting today because, frankly, I need your help and support.

I’m a self supporting household – there is no second income anywhere. I am almost at the point of being able to request my Social Security benefits. Almost, but not quite. As you can see in my fundraiser information, things have deteriorated and I need help.

This site is free – which is why you see ads. I don’t make one penny off it and, thankfully, don’t spend one, either. If I had to, it would have to be taken down.

If you can help, fantastic! If you can’t, please share this with anyone you think might be able to. Actually, please share anyway. 🙂

I know times are hard, but the truth is, they are hard for most of us. Can you spare the price of a cup of coffee to help someone?

Thank you in advance.


Is It New Season Yet?

It seems to be that time of year that is the In Between Time. That place where it is not quite Fall and not quite still Summer. We can’t move to warmer clothes or turn the a/c off or sit on the deck and enjoy a cool evening.

I got out to run errands today and was glad I could still have the windows open. For a few minutes there was debate about turning on the a/c.

I’m one of those folk who love 4 seasons, but really love being able to live with windows open and the a/c off.

My TV viewing is also in between. I’ve caught up with my summer shows, binged the streamed stuff I have been looking forward to for longer than I care to admit, and am now stuck waiting for the New Season to start in late September.

Part of me feels like that pre-teen kid that mopes around the house bored out of her gourd. At my age that is quite a … yeah, well, you know. 🙂

The past few months have been very stressful and, frankly, I would like to hope for some serious updates. Soon.

In the meantime, I’m taking my time, getting used to the onset of Fall and thinking positive.

One day at a time, right?

Around the House

Reset Part 2

Before I forget, yesterday’s discussion about resetting should have included a reminder to do a little computer housekeeping.

Now, before you shake your head and walk away, give me a minute.

There are only two things I want you to consider putting some time on your calendar to tackle.

One: Your Favorites Folder

If you are like me, your Favorites folder has a collection of bookmarks of articles and websites you noted to come back to. If you are even more like me, you might have bookmarked some of them more than once.

A few minutes a day, or week depending, could allow you time to delete the ones you no longer want or need and organize the rest.

Two: Your RSS Feed

If you use a tool like Feedly to get daily feeds from various websites, take a few minutes to see if you’ve marked articles to read <cough> “later”.

Later is the catch all for somewhere down the road…maybe I’ll get a few minutes to…

I spent about 30 minutes the other day just deleting the articles in my feed I no longer wanted to keep.

Guess what? The app loads faster now.

Book some time for some computer clean up and see what happens. 🙂

Around the House · Media · Musings · YouTube

It’s Reset Time Again

For those with kids in school, you already know about starting fresh. For the rest of us…

What is Reset Time?

Reset Time is when you do small tasks around the house to get ready for the next few months.

I recently cleared my YouTube Search and Watch Histories and made sure to rest my Roku box to be sure the latest software had been loaded.

Once the YouTube histories are cleared, I go back and research my favorites so the new videos will show on the screen when I log on.

If you are like me, and you find yourself searching for something a bit out of the ordinary, those searches bring a lot of other content up that you might not want on a regular basis. The reset and research will help clear that.

When the weather settles down (right now we are having a rainy spell), I’ll reset all my channels on my TV, too. Doing that, however, also requires that I reset my Watch Schedule app on the TV.

Speaking of TV schedules, I recently downloaded the latest TV Line Fall TV Premier Calendar and updated my media calendar. I also like to set my scheduling app to automatically go to those channels so I don’t miss something by being a bit…distracted. 😉

You Have a Media Calendar?

Yep. There was a time when I could keep my watch schedule in my head. We won’t go into how long ago that was.

I set up a separate calendar where I track the TV shows I follow, the movies I want to see and any books that will be released during the year. The TV shows all include the network they are on so I don’t have to dig. It has been years since I subscribed to any type of guide, so this works for me.

With different season starts for various platforms and networks, it just made sense for me to have a one stop spot to keep track of what I really wanted to see. The rest <shrug> I can add if/when I want.

This collection of small chores can take a few minutes, but the end results will help you keep track of things that matter and disregard those that don’t. They also help you keep your electronic tools up to date.

Happy Reset Time!

Around the House · Crafting · YouTube

Color Theory

Not Just For Quilters

Color is one of those things that scare folks out of their collective wits.

They may not admit to it, but most people are terrified to try something new because, well, because.

Color is a part of our lives. The clothes we wear. The way we decorate our homes. The color of the vehicle we drive. (Believe it or not, black, blue, red, silver and white are all colors…not exactly exciting colors, but still.)

If you are a crafter, color is an integral part of your projects. If you decorate your home, choosing the <cough> right colors can be a deal breaker.

It doesn’t have to be.

Karen Brown of Just Get It Done Quilts has a great collection of videos on YouTube that explain color theory. Her aim is to assist quilters, but I say, use what she teaches to help you choose colors in whatever application you choose. You can find her videos on YouTube by searching for Just Get It Done Quilts in the YouTube search box. On her page, you will find links to her Facebook, Instagram and website. Check them out!

By the way, she has some great free handouts for her color theory videos. She tells you where to find them in her videos.

Home Applications

If you are contemplating a home decor project, but don’t have a clue where to start, might I suggest finding an inspiration piece.

What’s that? An inspiration piece is something you might want to include in your decoration. It could be a knick knack, painting, pillow or piece of fabric.

The inspiration piece could be the starting point to finding the colors you will want to use in the room as well as setting the tone or type of decor. You can go Modern, Traditional, Art Deco, or expand into Cozy Cottage or something with more of a theme like, say, Bird Houses or Light Houses. You get the idea!

Matt Fox and Shari Hiller did an entire series on this a few years back, but you can find more on their website Shari did a great video explaining color theory and how you can use it to design a room. Well worth checking out!

It’s A Comfort Level Thing

Color doesn’t have to be intense, you choose the depth of the colors you want to work with.

Need something calming and quiet? Try pastels.

Looking for more energy in a room or on a project? The deeper, darker the tone could give you want to you are looking for.

Warm or Cool?

Warm colors have a red base while cool colors are blue based. This is good to know when you are considering intensity and energy in a room.

Color has an impact no matter what intensity you choose. I once worked in an office that had been painted in a lower mid level blue color. Pretty, but cold. Really. When the a/c was turned on we froze. The cool color on top of the cold air just made the rooms colder. Didn’t matter what the thermometer said, either.

Where to Start?

You have quite a few options:

  • Collect pictures from magazines of rooms you like.
  • Visit your local home center and collect paint samples – don’t forget the brochures with room samples, too.
  • Wallpaper samples provide not only color options, but design options. Same goes for – I kid you not – wrapping paper.
  • Fabric can give you some great ideas and when paired with wallpaper samples can be a great start to a beautiful room.
  • Head over to the scrapbook section of your local hobby shop to find some interesting, and colorful, papers.

Colors change every year. More precisely, “In Colors” change every year. As you collect your favorites, keep in mind that some of those favorites may not last very long. Others are classics. If you aren’t concerned about taking on a design that is not up to date, you can create some amazing rooms.

Don’t be surprised to find yourself combining colors that you didn’t think would go together. I’ve recently seen some combinations that I wouldn’t have thought of, but when put together worked beautifully.

Don’t forget, the designer who developed that favorite swatch you love, put together colors that work together. Saved you from that Edge-Of-Your-Seat panic. 🙂

Color theory can be the start of a grand adventure. Beautiful rooms, gorgeous quilts, amazing craft projects. Don’t be afraid to dip your toe.

Cord Cutting · Media · TV

Cord Cutting. What is It?

Cord Cutting is the process of reducing, or eliminating, dependence on cable or satellite subscription services to get television content.

This could include a return to antennas, utilizing streaming platforms like Amazon Prime, and/or streaming players like Amazon Fire Stick or Roku boxes.

For some people, cable or satellite services are the only way to actually get access to television programming. Over the air antenna streams just don’t reach. But for those who live in urban areas, subscription services may not be necessary.

Further, the complaint about paying for channels you don’t watch and not having the ability to pick and choose what you prefer to watch has been around as long as cable.

To be fair, cable subscription packages have included a broad range of channels to appeal to a broad range of subscribers. The cost of that package is dependent upon not only the amount of subscribers, but the cost of the content from providers.

TV isn’t cheap. No matter what it looks like.

Streaming provides flexibility in ways that might surprise you. YouTube has tons of free content – many of it older over the air shows that you might not have had access to. Some content providers have channels that have high quality content you won’t find on broadcast or cable.

In this first of what I hope to be a series of articles on cord cutting, I will give you an idea of what is out there, and how to determine if you should be exploring it more for yourself.

Where to Start

The first thing to consider is what, exactly, you watch. Are you devoted to specific shows? Follow sports? Interested in movies? Looking for out of the ordinary programming?

For myself, I sat down and made a list of what I watched and where I watched it. My list had all the shows I watched and what networks carried them. I then added a list of shows I wanted to watch.

For example; I discovered I spent a lot of time on CBS because the shows I followed were there. My second network was PBS, which was troublesome because the antenna service for my local PBS outlet was really bad. So bad, I could no longer get the channel over the air.

Now that you have your list, you can check to see where you can watch those shows. is a great resource for this. Established shows will have a list on their page showing where you can find the show. New entries will let you know the network and later fill in other where to see data.

Streaming Boxes?

PC Magazine has compiled a list of the Best Media Streaming Devices for 2019. It is worth taking a look at, if for no other reason than to really see your options.

Streaming boxes connect to a wide variety of streaming services that will allow you to access a variety of content – quite a bit for free.

You pay a one time fee to buy the box and then access various services thru the box. (No monthly rental fee for the box.)

I have a Roku box that I use to access not only Amazon, but CBS All Access, PBS and a variety of other channels that change depending upon if I use them or not.

Yes, I can change the content I want to watch at any time. 🙂

But Does It Really Save Money?

The amount you save can vary, but let me share with you my experience.

The average cost of cable in my area is $100.00 per month ($1,200 per year).

Right now I pay $12.99 for Amazon Prime. I pay $5.99 for CBS All Access (no commercials would cost me $9.99). Acorn TV is $4.99 while BritBox is $6.99.

Right now I’ve dropped both Acorn and BritBox because the series I watch will not have new season episodes for a few months. I’ll add them back to the mix later. I keep my CBS All Access for the simple reason that I can get the live feed from my local station over the air. This is important if the weather is bad and broadcast is disrupted.

So, with just Amazon Prime and CBS All Access, my monthly TV bill is a whopping $18.94 ($227.28 per year). Amazon Prime also has thousands of free movies and television shows in addition to those that are available for rent. CBS All Access also has their lineup plus classic shows and movies that update regularly. With these two subscriptions I’ve saved almost $1,000 per year. But that’s not all.

My Roku box has hundreds of channels that are available at your discretion. Some are free to watch, others require cable subscriptions. Browse their channel lineup and you will see PBS, PBS Kids, HBO, Showtime, Acorn, BritBox, America’s Test Kitchen among others.

Two of my favorite streaming services are Pluto and Stirr. Both of these platforms collect other streaming feeds into one location that allow you to find programming. Interested in game shows? Look for BZZR. Want classic SciFi? How about some NASA feeds? Check out their channel listings to see what is available.

Yes, you can find many of these options on your computer, but really, who wants to spend the evening curled up with your laptop?

I’m going to leave you here. I hope I’ve given you some food for thought. Why not sit down and make your list? Check out all the channels Amazon is offering. You might be as surprised as I was.

I’d be interested to learn more about your experience. Go to the Comments tab and fill in the form. Let me know what you learned and what you plan on doing next.


A Cheer for Determination

In the past couple of days I’ve been made aware of something that I already knew, but appeared to not really think about.

The power of determination.

I follow a few folks on YouTube that started doing things, not for acclaim but because they wanted to share their passion.

One wanted to teach, and does an amazing job. She shares an extensive knowledge that helps her viewers. She provides encouragement and options to give courage to folks who want to try, but are afraid of failure. In the end, she shares her love of craft and provides a safe place to play.

One of these folks shared with his viewers a letter received from a <cough> viewer telling him to “go get a real job” because the vlogs he posted were a waste of time. At least as far as the writer was concerned.

I have a feeling said writer was a big chagrined to learn that his note was turned into a saying on a tshirt. Limited edition. Sold out. 🙂

I follow a couple of authors who write stories based on what they wanted to read. These folks, from different backgrounds and education, started working on stories that were as diverse as they were. Each has written several volumes based on original characters but pulling in historical content in ways that capture not only their imagination, but that of their readers as well.

My point is that not only are we all unique with different interests and talents, we all hear the same “oh, that will never work”, albeit in different forms or terms.

It takes a lot of courage to follow your heart and do things that make you happy. If they end up making money, even better. If they end up making a living, that is the cherry on top of the cupcake.

We all can’t rise to the top of the mountain. Some of us don’t want to. But I think all of us can appreciate the efforts and the courage needed to try.

If you get a chance, and come across someone like those I’ve mentioned, take a moment to let them know how much you appreciate their efforts. Let them know that they’ve helped make your day. You will no doubt make theirs. 🙂